C. Melvin Brooks Sr.

C. Melvin Brooks Sr. "Ripper" "Mel"

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather C. Melvin Brooks Sr., a lifetime resident of Newark, left this world for eternal life on January 12, 2013, just one day before his 92nd birthday. He died peacefully at Christiana Care surrounded by his family.

Mel was born January 13, 1921, in Frederica, DE to the late Claude C. and Elizabeth Hall Brooks. A '38 graduate of Newark H.S., he was considered as "one of Newark's most talented athletes and student leaders," and earned 10 letters in three sports. He also played baseball on several American Legion teams that earned spots in the regional tournaments as well as semi pro baseball. Mel competed in track and field and won gold medals in many regional tournaments competing against athletes from the surrounding states.

At the University of Delaware, Mel became a football starter as a freshman after his third game. He was a "two way" player and earned the nickname "Ripper" from his teammates. He was named co-captain in his senior year as a member of the University' first ever undefeated football team. In all, Ripper earned 9 letters at three sports for the U of DE.

After earning his BA in Agriculture from the University of Delaware, Mel served his country in WWII in the U.S. Air Force where he learned electronics repair. His expertise grew, and after his service, he worked in many electronics shops in the area. Ripper's love for sports never waned, and he coached and served as President of the Newark American Little League. In 2005, his accomplishments as an athlete and leader in Delaware sports were acknowledged and Ripper was inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame.

Mel's other pastimes included fishing, gardening, raising a small orchard of fruit trees in his yard, and keeping bees. He was also a member for over 70 years of the Pencader Grange #60. Mel served as the Headmaster and a representative to the Delaware State Grange.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Audrey; daughter Barbara Battersby McLaughlin of Elkton, MD; daughter Elizabeth Ann Dougherty of North East, MD; son C. Melvin "Gov" Brooks and wife Diane, of Newark, DE; daughter Polly Cherundolo of Newark, DE; son Stephen Brooks and wife Kathy of Vineland, NJ; a brother Norman Hall Brooks of Newark, DE; 11 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by his brothers Henry W. Brooks and William H. Brooks.

Service will be held 8 pm on Thursday, January 17, at R.T. Foard & Jones Funeral Home, 122 W. Main St., Newark, DE 19711. Friends and family may visit two hours prior starting at 6 pm. Burial and Honors will be held at Delaware Veteran's Cemetery. Procession will leave the funeral home at 10 am on Tuesday, January 22nd.

To send condolences visit www.rtfoard.com

R.T. Foard & Jones

Funeral Directors

& Crematory

(302) 731-4627

A Life Celebration® Home

Funeral Home

R.T. Foard & Jones, inc.
122 West Main Street Newark, DE 19711
(302) 731-4627

Published in The News Journal on Jan. 17, 2013